I had the priviledge, thanks to my wonderful mommy friends, of watching the birth of an owlet today live on the internet. (Fast forward to 1:20 to see the birth. At 1:21, the baby is wearing an eggshell hat!)
Molly and McGee are second-time parents. Carlos and Donna Royal built an owl box in their backyard, equipped it with a camera and now give lots of their time educating and entertaining the public with the world's most famous barn owls.
I've been watching the live feed of Molly taking care of her clutch, or clutch-to-be, as it was when I first started watching her with her four eggs. I wasn't lucky enough to see McGee or any of the feedings, as some of my friends did, but her exotic eyes and maternal instinct, and even her preening were the source of hours of enjoyment for Ellie, Mikey and me. As a bonus, Carlos frequently came online to talk about Molly and McGee and owls in general. I only caught a few of his talks, but I learned a lot. I'm very grateful that I learned about this wonderful 'project' that I can share with my children.
I took two screen shots, one right before the birth, when Molly lifted up the egg to dump out the chick, and one right after, as Molly cleaned the chick. (According to Carlos, this hatch was a very rare site we were all infinitely lucky to observe.)